Regardless of what Jon Jones’ deleted tweets may imply day to day, there is a good deal of green to be made in the hazardous world of mixed martial arts.
From pay-per-view revenue to fight of the night bonuses, many fighters go home with heavy set pockets. Why else would they risk their health and even lives for such an endeavour?
As of 2021, these 10 masters of combat are ahead of the pack when it comes to money, as per Wealthy Gorilla.
10. Randy Couture
The first of just eight fighters to have won championships in multiple weight classes, Randy Couture cast a long shadow and left a grand legacy in the UFC. A former United States Army Sergeant, Couture was the fourth inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame and, as the only fighter over 40 to have won a UFC championship bout, is the oldest champion in the promotion’s history.
Couture retired from the sport in 2011. He has appeared in a few films over the years including the first instalment of Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables.
His net worth stands at $17million.
9. Wanderlei Silva
Arguably the GOAT of Japan’s Pride Fighting Championship, Wanderlei Silva holds the records for most wins, most knockouts and most title defences. He also enjoyed the longest winning streak in the history of the promotion.
The Brazilian middleweight also enjoyed respectable, but slightly less fruitful, runs in the UFC and Bellator MMA. Silva boasts an impressive net worth of $18million.
8. Fedor Emelianenko
Arguably the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time, Fedor Emelianenko is also widely regarded as the greatest fighter to have never fought in the UFC. The Russian big man is renowned for his mastery of grappling-focused martial arts such as Sambo and Judo.
Emelianenko’s current net worth is also $18million.
7. Anderson Silva
‘The Spider’ was unstoppable until Chris Weidman checked one of his kicks. Holder of the longest undefeated streak in UFC history, Anderson Silva dominated the middleweight division with 10 straight title defences.
Silva is another fighter with an impressive $18million to his name.
6. BJ Penn
Winner of both the lightweight and welterweight UFC championships, BJ Penn is a BJJ maestro widely regarded as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. As of 2021, BJ Penn’s net worth is believed to be $22million.
5. Brock Lesnar
WWE Superstar turned almost NFL player turned UFC fighter turned WWE Superstar again Brock Lesnar is a one of a kind athlete. ‘The Beast Incarnate’ has enjoyed lucrative runs in WWE and in the UFC, where he is a former heavyweight champion.
The hard-hitting farm boy has a net worth of $28million.
4. Georges St-Pierre
Often regarded as the finest welterweight fighter and champion in UFC history, Georges St-Pierre is sitting on a whopping $30million. While he is retired from the Octagon for now, the multi-time champion continues to rake in the big bucks from other mediums. He was most recently seen reprising his Batroc role in the MCU as a part of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
3. Khabib Nurmagomedov
The Dagestani master of sambo fought a perfect career from start to finish. Retiring at 29-0, ‘The Eagle’ has now moved into the world of coaching. The unbeatable former king of the lightweight division gained a mountain of notoriety for his four round dissection of nemesis Conor McGregor in 2018.
Nurmagomedov has $30million in the bank.
2. Rorian Gracie
The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Grand Master is a key figure in the sport of MMA given his co-founding of the UFC. Among the very few to hold a ninth-degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie was a key figure in introducing his family’s martial art to the rest of the world.
With a net worth of $50million, Gracie is one of the richest athletes in the world across all sports.
1. Conor McGregor
There’s a reason they call Floyd Mayweather ‘Money’. Along with a box office busting, highly lucrative career in the UFC, Conor McGregor made an absolute bundle off his boxing bout with the 50-0 living legend.
A controversial favourite of the tabloids, the hot-headed McGregor is a master of self-marketing and trash talk. With $110million to his name, ‘The Notorious’ is leagues ahead of his fellow fighters in the finance department.